The incident is synonymous with unchecked human depravity, but the details surrounding it and belying it remain poorly understood. What prompted a battalion of ordinary American soldiers, stationed in Southeast Asia, to torture, rape, mutilate and murder an entire village of innocent Vietnamese civilians on March 16, 1968? This event, of course, became known as the My Lai Massacre, and it arguably qualifies as the nadir of Vietnam War insanity. As produced by WGBH Boston and originally aired on PBS for the American Experience series, the documentary My Lai asks probing and penetrating questions about the cause of this unthinkable event - if the soldiers, as they later claimed, were just following orders, of if the line between enemy soldier and civilian had become so blurred by the broader conflict that ethics were suddenly difficult for many of the participants to ascertain. This feature-length program takes an unflinching look at the horror itself, explores the vile cover-up that ensued, and pays homage to the courageous handful of soldiers who broke ranks and defied orders, in an attempt to put an end to the madness.
My Lai Photos
Discuss American Experience on our TV talk forum!